Climbing Google / SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
This article will explain what SEO is and teach you about how to help your website climb in Google.
We do some SEO work when we build your website.
The rest is up to you, a marketing agency, or an SEO agency.
Summary = Google likes good, trustworthy websites that are being regularly updated with new content. They will look at you across the web, including your social media, reviews, and more.
What exactly is SEO?
SEO means Search Engine Optimisation. It means the process of doing things to a business and website to show Google you're trustworthy and should come up in their results.
To do this, you need to be better than your competition. This means Google decides to promote your website and overall web presence MORE than your competitors.
For example, if you'd like to show up for 'Builder in St Neots', you need to beat all the other companies doing the same thing.
Think about it like this:
1. A user searches for 'Builder in St Neots'
2. You are one of 30 building companies in St Neots
3. How will they decide which websites to present first to the searcher?
So what would make Google decide to push you higher than your competitors?
This is what SEO is. The process of SEO (search engine optimisation) is making sure your website and general online presence meets the criteria for their tests and makes you the best you can be.
So how do we make them rank us higher in the search results?
It takes time and effort.
Google looks for genuine websites that aren't trying to trick the system, and a general online presence that makes you look trustworthy.
They like websites that are being frequently updated because it shows you're doing a lot of business.
They like websites with a blog/news feed on them, because it shows you're trying to help customers by writing helpful articles.
But it's not just about your website.
Google can link together your entire business online, meaning they're probably looking at:
- your social media
- your reviews on sites like Trustpilot
- anyone mentioning your business anywhere online
- probably even your tax returns.
So you need to look trustworthy throughout the web.
Here are a few ways to encourage Google to view you as a reliable, trustworthy source of information:
Google loves new, relevant content. Ask us to put a blog on your site, and write a good, long, informative post relevant to your services at least once a month. Try reviews, recent projects, industry news, or insights. Read more here.
⭐ Social Media Feeds
We know people are going off Facebook (we get it!) but it's gold dust for Google. You should really use it, even if just for your SEO. Instagram as well.
⭐ Keep your website content up to date
Send us new content to update your site with regularly.
Link to your website from all your social media, listing pages, and other sources. The more places on the web link to a website, the more Google will see it's a trustworthy and established site. This is traditionally known as Backlinks.
⭐ Don't get rid of your website
Keep your website online for as long as possible. The longer you're online, the more reliable you are. A bit like being registered at the same property on the Electoral Roll helps your credit score.
⭐ Google Business
Get a good Google Business page going. Read more here.
Make sure you have good reviews coming in around the web. Think about Facebook, Google Business page, Trustpilot, Yell, etc.
⭐ Think about your Keywords
Consider tweaking your website content. It needs to be what we call 'keyword rich.' So, if you're a plumber in St Neots, make sure the phrase 'plumber in St Neots' is dropped into your content on your website. Take a look at your website now. Are your keywords in your content? If not, we-write it and send it over to us ASAP!
⭐ About page
Expand your 'About page.' Make sure it tells your story with lots of keywords. If it doesn't, re-write it and send the new content over to us.
⭐ FAQ page
Write an FAQs page. This is gold dust for SEO. For example Q: Why pick a local plumber in St Neots over a national company? A: We know St Neots, we know our customers, and you are supporting a local, family-run business. We are more flexible, and more tidy. We are a trustworthy plumbing company!
When will I see results?
Doing all the things above should improve your Google ranking.
For a realistic timescale, a plumber in St Neots may find themselves listing for 'Plumbing in St Neots' on page 1 in six months or a year, if they are doing a good job of the above steps.
However, don't forget your competitors are doing the same thing and nothing is guaranteed.
The more websites are trying to rank for the same keywords, the harder it will be to beat them.
The more niche your keywords are, or the more tied to a specific area, the more chance you have.
For example, if you're competing nationally or for very broad search terms, you won't be able to make any progress without going to an SEO Agency. Examples of this might be an online clothing shop who sells to anyone and doesn't have a niche.
If you're targeting a town like St Neots or Cambridge, you're only competing against other companies in that area.
That's why 'St Neots' would be easier to target than 'Cambridgeshire', and targeting somewhere smaller would be even easier. If you're the only 'Plumber in Wyboston', you'd have a good chance of being on Page 1.
Please note: You will never list higher than companies like TrustATrader, Yell, or other national companies because they are spending millions on SEO. You can only compete against other companies your size.
What if I desperately need results?
Hire an Adwords company, which will get you adverts in the 'Sponsored' section of the Google results. We recommend Dave Thomas at Prime Position Marketing, another local St Neots company.
All the tips above are for free, organic SEO. This is very important.
In addition, you could also use our monthly SEO service.
We run software over your website which will tick all the boxes Google needs and is a much quicker way to climb Google.
We have proven results of significantly bumping clients up the rankings using this service.
However, it's not always affordable for very small businesses (this is due to the cost of the software we have to use). So we only recommend using this if you've already tried everything else for at least a year.
So what do you do for me when building the site?
When we're designing your website there are various things we do for your SEO.
⭐ We have completed your meta titles and descriptions.
⭐ We have submitted your website to Google.
⭐ We have got your 'SEO checklist' to 100%, making sure we've ticked all the boxes.
⭐ We are hosting your website on servers shared with companies like Amazon, so that you don't experience downtime.
⭐ We are managing your website professionally and making any changes necessary to keep up with Google's algorithm changes
⭐ We have made your website accessible to people with additional needs, which is essential for your SEO as Google can see it's a well-made website.
⭐ We have completed your 'Structured Data' which puts your business details (name, phone number, registered address) in the back-end of the website, allowing Google to link you with your other online assets.
⭐ We have optimised your website for all devices.
⭐ We have added social share image & Favicon, both essential for Google.
⭐ We have management of your Google Search Console, making sure your website remains linked to Google and everything is working okay.
⭐ We have added a Custom 404 re-redirect page and put any necessary 301 re-directs in place from your old website, if appropriate
⭐ We have added your website to our uptime tracking software, to ensure there is no downtime (which would be bad for Google)
After that, it's up to you!
How do I find my keywords?
Keywords are the words you want to appear in the search for. Most small businesses just pick some and roll with them.
For example, if you're a plumber in St Neots, you might want to appear when people search 'plumbers in St Neots'. This makes 'plumbers in St Neots' your keyword phrase.
If you want to look deeper into this, you can research the best keywords here: https://www.wordtracker.com/